The Short BIO:

Cary Kanno has been playing guitar and singing for over 15 years.... and professionally as a solo acoustic act for 12 years. He incorporates a loop sampler to layer guitar parts, and a vocal harmonizer to add vocal harmonies. The result is a much fuller sound, almost as though there are 3 musicians instead of just one. In addition to the guitar, he also plays the ukulele and harmonica, which adds some variety into his sets. He has a cover song library of over 600 songs, ranging from 1950's to present day music. He has the ability to play soft pretty background music, or he can turn it up and keep a room full of people dancing and singing along. Audiences are perpetually impressed and complimentary in regards to his shows, and client feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
He plays all over the Midwest and in addition to self booking, he is booked by the Old Town School of Folk Music as well as a few other booking agents. He can bring in a percussionist and/ or female vocalist/ guitarist. You can contact him at

The Extended BIO:

Who is this Cary guy and what does he do? Good question.

I. Background information:
Cary "CKP" Kanno has been playing music for over 15 years. He has logged over 1000 stage performances as a solo act and with multiple bands and has been writing and making music for over 14 years... albeit he wrote his 1st song at the age of 12 and it took 6 years before the next song was created. But nonetheless has been a prolific songwriter and performer ever since. His 1st band, "PCP (aka Pete Cary Pete)" was formed while attending Oak Park River Forest High School in the western suburbs of Chicago.

A few years later while attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison he assembled "the Everyday Weekends" and for the first time performed original compositions at public shows. The band, although successful at the UW had a shelf life and eventually parted ways as members graduated.

After returning to Chicago in 2000 He formed a talented new quartet called "Traveling Riverside" which soon included Seth Vanek, Matt Sherrell, and Rusty Ehler. Around the same time he began collaborating with a trio of emcees, Cameron McIntosh, Mark Mathis, and Andres Roldan. With Traveling Riverside providing the backing music and the emcees fronting the band, the absTRACT giANTS were born. Andy Lempera, Jason VinLuan, and Matt Conway were soon invited into the mix.

II. Band #1 Abstract Giants:
The AG's have performed hundreds of shows throughout the country in their 4 year existence. They are being called one of the best underground live hip hop bands around and have played shows with Lyrics Born, Zion I, Jean Grae, The Coup, Poi Dog Pondering, Bernie Worrell (of Parliament and Talking Heads), Fareed Haque, Atmosphere, Eyeda, POS. They have played such venues as: The Tweeter Center (Warped Tour), House Of Blues, Congress Theater, and Metro.

III. Band #2 Doko Benjo:
Due to lack of better things to do, Cary formed another 8 member funk/ rock group called Doko Benjo. They are a dynamic band that features Cary on lead vocals and guitar, a female singer, and the DB horn section. Very up-tempo and family friendly they are a great band for festivals and club shows. They have had the pleasure of playing some big gigs including opening up for Rusted Root at the House of Blues, and playing before John Mayer , Gabriella Y Rodrigo, and Robert Randolph at the Taste of Chicago. They recently released their 2nd CD which is self titled.

IV. Band #3 Cary "CKP" Kanno Solo:
Cary plays several acoustic show's every week. Venues range from private parties, bar gigs, clubs, corporate events, colleges, weddings, and more. His library of over 600 songs cover the gamut from rock to funk to folk, to pop. He is a very strong guitar player, using a loop sampler to lay down multiple guitar and vocal lines in a live setting. Whether playing at a wedding, a party, or a bar he is always good at reading his audience and plays songs that appeal to crowds. In live settings Cary plays both acoustic guitar and ukulele. He uses a loop sampler to layer guitar parts, and a vocal harmonizer to add vocal harmonies. In addition to his 2 solo albums, Cary put out a childrens/ adults album called "Under the Sun" you can check it out here.

V. Cary the producer, promoter, and studio musician:
This could very well be 3 categories but since I'm trying to avoid writing a book we'll combine them. Cary has played guitar, uke, pedal steel, bass, harmonica, percussion, and sang on many studio sessions. A song he composed and played all the instruments on was licenced by the Showtime Network and featured in a commercial for the TV show "Weeds".

Cary has also spearheaded the organization known as "The Chicago Drop", which is a collaboration of 8 hip hop bands in Chicago. They have put out 2 very successful compilation discs ("The Chicago Drop Vol 1 and Vol 2") and has been praised by: The Chicago SunTimes, Chicago Tribune, Reader, New City, Illinois Entertainer, Pioneer Press, The Onion, Timeout Chicago, Red Eye, Red Streak, etc.

Cary Kanno in the news:


Illinois Entertainer: Keeping it Live
Article about Cary Kanno and the Chicago Drop

Pioneer Press: Favorites of 2006
Article about Cary Kanno's favorites for 2006


Depaul University Depaulia: The Sum of All Parts
Article about Cary Kanno and the Chicago Drop


Chicago Red Eye:
Crowded House, Doko Benjo makes a good scene

Article about Cary Kanno's band, Doko Benjo

Chicago Innerview: Abstract Giants Introduce Abstract Style
Article interviewing Cary Kanno about his band, the Abstract Giants

Chicago Red Streak: Brace yourself for the Chicago Sound
Article interviewing Cary Kanno about his band, the Abstract Giants


Chicago Sun Times: Drop Everything
Article about Cary Kanno and the Chicago Drop


Chicago Red Eye:
Chicago Gets Drop on Promoting it's Scene
Article about Cary Kanno and the Chicago Drop

New City: Stop and Drop
Article about Cary Kanno and the Chicago Drop

Illinois Entertainer: Unearthed
Article about Cary Kanno and the Abstract Giants album


Chicago Sun Times: Latest Chicago Drop Project
Article about Cary Kanno and the ChicagoDrop

recession kitchen
Recession Kitchen: Journalist David Jakubiaks
interesting and delicious column

Cary licensed one of his songs for a commercial for Showtime Network.
All instruments (besides drums) played by Cary Kanno:

Cary Kanno singing the National Anthem at Wrigley Field: